Fantastical yet poignant, Fleur Schell’s art tells stories through porcelain objects and mixed media, exploring themes of childhood innocence, simplicity and the imagination. drawing g=from her childhood growing up on a farm in the Wheatbelt in Western Australia, a passion for making was encouraged from the beginning.
“My Earliest memories of a desire to create began with summer days sitting on the edge of a dam surrounded by vast wheat fields, miles from our farmhouse. I would spend hours squelching my feet in cold clay while building cups, teapots and small creatures with the sticky, seductive material,” the ceramic artist reflects.
“Living remotely meant my appreciation for art began while being immersed in nature. My introduction to a formal art gallery only came when I moved to the city to attend boarding school.”
Working with clay for more than 20 years, Schell’s relationship with the material is strongly nostalgic, allowing a special confidence and familiarity with the objects she creates. Although triggered by her immediate, literal surroundings and engagement in the lives of her two children, many of Schell’s ceramics are whimsically surreal featuring friendly oversized monsters, friendly predatory animals, mini tea sets and personified objects.
“Making art is intrinsic to my life (and) the creative side of my brain never switches off. Since the arrival of our first child in 2005, my work has been inspired by a magical and imaginative reawakening in our home, informed by thew conversations and experiences shared by our children,” the artist explains.
“I feel most creative around my children - it is so true what the french poet Charles Baudelaire wrote 1863: ‘Genius, is no more than childhood recaptured at will.’”